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San Diego, California & Orlando, Florida

Sunday, October 16, 2005 - Sunday, October 23, 2005

Okay, so in the annals of our travel we have had some pretty crazy trips - the kind that leaves most of our family and friends just shaking their heads - but this trip quite possibly ranks in the top three of 'craziest'!

We left very early from Binghamton on Sunday, October 16th and drove to Syracuse. Flight prices had originally been less expensive out of Syracuse when compared to Binghamton, hence the deviation from the normal departure airport. We boarded United flight 7980 at 6:18 in the morning and flew to Washington/Dulles Airport. From there, we boarded United flight 311 to San Diego. Pretty uneventful flights out to California.

Arrived in San Diego between 11:00 and 12:00 on Sunday morning (their time), grabbed the bags, jumped into the rental car, and headed north! Our destination you ask? Well, being the Disney afficianados that we are, to Anaheim of course! Arrived in Anaheim around 2:00, parked in the HUGE parking ramp, and made our way to Disneyland! We had decided before the trip to only hit one of the parks, and Disneyland won out over California Adventure. We had seen most of both parks when we were out there in 2004, and Disneyland is the more "Disneyesque" of the two parks and has more rides that appealed to us.

Spent the entire day until closing time at Disneyland, going on many of our favorite rides, but the highlight of this trip was being able to ride Space Mountain! The newly refurbed ride at Disneyland was awesome! My first time on either of the Space Mountain's (Disneyland's was closed our last time out to California & the one at the Magic Kingdom always seems to be broken down when we've been there before!).

For the 'San Diego' leg of the trip, we stayed at the Hotel Solamar - right in the middle of a revitalized and vibrant downtown San Diego! We were literally three blocks from the San Diego Convention Center, and a block and a half from the new Petco Park - home of the San Diego Padres. This hotel is yet another in the Kimpton chain of hotels - by far our most favorite chain!

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Hotel Solamar - San Diego, California

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were spent at the convention center at the AHIMA national convention. Jill spoke on "Coding, Billing, and Documentation for Clinical Trials." on Wednesday morning.

We had dinner at a stip club on Monday night with Jill's co-workers after attending a professional reception at the Marriot next to the convention center. Yep, that's what I said, a strip club. Well, actually it USED to be a strip club - it's now been converted to a grill your own restaurant called the Gaslamp Strip Club. You order your food, they bring it to you uncooked, then you take up residence at one of the open grills around the restaurant! Kind of a different dining experience.

Instead of trying to find something at the convention center to eat for lunch on Tuesday, we opted to stroll up one of the streets near the hotel to see what we could find. After looking at a couple of menus, we finally settled on Trattoria La Bocca on 5th Street. What a find this place was! We got there after the lunch rush, so Jill and I were the only ones in the place. The food, probably some of the best we had the entire trip! And the waiter that worked there was very personable as well. Very good restaurant for us to stumble upon.

On Tuesday night, we had dinner at the Blue Point Coastal Cuisine restaurant. A nice restaurant who's ambiance reminded us a lot of the 'McCormick and Schmick's' that we had eaten at in the past.

On Wednesday, after Jill spoke and the convention ended, we were able to take a tour of Petco Park, a beautiful new park in the middle of downtown San Diego. Of all of the stadiums we have been able to visit, this ranks up there as one of the top five. It's to bad that our timing was off a bit and we were unable to watch a Padres game, because I'm sure it would be a good time! Maybe next trip.

Thursday was a travel day for us, as the second leg of our open jaw trip began. We flew on Delta Airlines from San Diego to Orlando via Atlanta, Georgia. Nothing to earth shattering to report flight wise from one coast to the other, which was a pleasant surprise considering all of the problems we had with Travelocity in getting a simple flight changed.

The main reason for our trip to Orlando was to attend the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life Superevent. This conference/event had attendees from the top 24 Relay for Life's in America, of which Jill and I are a member of one (the Greater Binghamton Relay for Life). The conference was held at the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort, a huge resort in Orlando and even more importantly - about five minutes from the Magic Kingdom! Yes, you got it, BOTH Disney parks in less than a week! Coast to coast!

We attended sessions on Friday during the day with our Relay peers, and then on Friday night it was off to the Magic Kingdom for 'Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party"! Awesome time - we even liked it better than the Christmas Party! We were able to ride Space Mountain multiple times, as well as all of our other favorite rides. Sessions again on Saturday, and when the summit ended on Saturday night - it was off to Disney again! We went to Epcot, hit a bunch of rides and went around the World Showcase. Also, went to Downtown Disney to do the traditional Disney shopping. On Sunday - you got it - up early and off to Disney again! Went to MGM Studios to begin with, rode Rockin' Roller Coaster at least three times, as well as the Great Movie Ride (had a pretty lame 'host' - we were hoping it was his first day and he would improve with experience). When we had 'done' MGM - we headed over to Epcot again. Then it was off to the airport, onto a US Airways flight, and back home again.


Binghamton to Syracuse - 73 Miles
Syracuse to Washington - 376 Miles
Washington to San Diego - 2696 Miles
San Diego to Anaheim (R/T) - 192 Miles
San Diego to Atlanta - 2142 Miles
Atlanta to Orlando - 439 Miles
Orlando to Washington - 852 Miles
Washington to Syracuse - 376 Miles
Syracuse to Binghamton - 73 Miles

Total Mileage: 7219 Miles

Total Miles Travelled:
84,067 Miles!

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Page Last Updated: November 9, 2009